Six affordable home gym essentials every WHF warrior needs

Forget standing desks – you need these affordable home gym equipment to stay fit at home (or at uni)

Fit young woman using resistance band with the TRX Bandit handle
(Image credit: TRX)

The pandemic and subsequent lockdown normalised working from home as much as it made us more sedentary than before, as we didn't have to leave our living space to go to work. Many upgraded their home office with a standing desk to stay fit; however, if you actually want to improve your health and fitness and general well-being at home, you'll need to invest in some decent home gym equipment.

Now, investment is a word many people don't want to hear in this time of economic turmoil, with inflation rising left-right-centre. We know that any money you depart with is money spent, but you won't have to remortgage the house to be able to afford the equipment options below. From suspension trainers to gyro balls, here are the best home gym equipment for WFH warriors and uni students.

1. Suspension trainer

The best suspension trainers are criminally underrated. Similarly to resistance bands, suspension trainer sets take up very little space and can help you perform hundreds of exercises at home without any additional equipment. Sure, you can do a number of exercises without any equipment (e.g. push-ups, squats, etc.), but these are often 'push' type exercises, which will only ever develop specific muscles. With suspension trainers, you can add 'pull' movements to your exercise regime, such as bicep curls, inverted rows and much more.  

Man doing resistance bands workout

(Image credit: Getty)

2. Resistance bands

If you can't quite stretch your budget to afford a full suspension trainer set, resistance bands are the next best thing. Full resistance band sets cast peanuts, yet they can add extra resistance to any exercise, including press-ups, pull-ups and more. They take up no space and are generally unattractive enough to be stolen (thinking about you, uni students). Do your body a favour and check out T3's best resistance band guide for the best options right now.

3. Parallettes

Simple wooden parallettes enable you to keep your wrist in a more natural position during push-ups and planks, reducing strain on the joint. They are also dirt cheap, lightweight, and can be stored virtually anywhere. Taller parallettes can also help add extra resistance to your exercise routine by providing some elevation. They can bought at many retailers, including Mirafit and Argos.

Young man in vest doing a dumbbell workout at home

(Image credit: Getty Images)

4. Adjustable dumbbells

Okay, these are not cheap, but the best adjustable dumbbells can replace a full rack of dumbbells and are especially well-suited for small living spaces (traditional, spin-collar dumbbells aren't too expensive, to be fair). Dumbbells are some of the most versatile home weights, and they are a must for those who want to tone or build muscle at home or need a good pump before the night out. 

5. Gyro balls

Although they are very 2010s, gyroscopic exercise balls are not only fun to use, but they can improve grip and forearm strength – no wonder golfers like to use them for training. The sound they make is also somewhat meditative and helps you focus on work or your studies while working out. The perfect win-win situation. Check out some options at Amazon.

Apple Watch Series 8 review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

6. Smartwatch/fitness tracker

You won't get stronger by lifting wearables, but they can help you stay fit by motivating you to move more and reminding you to stand up from your desk occasionally. In 2023, the best smartwatches and fitness trackers have a host of helpful health and fitness features to keep you going even when you don't feel like doing any exercise. They can monitor sleep and calories burned; some can even track respiration rate and blood oxygen levels.

For more WFH and uni essentials, check out T3's back-to-class recommendations.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.